Google goes back to basics for the next performance-centric Wear OS update

Google goes back to basics for the next performance-centric Wear OS update
Released all the way back in 2014 aboard smartwatches from Samsung, LG, Motorola, Asus, and Sony, the aptly named Android Wear platform never really took off, constantly playing catch-up in recent years to Apple's younger watchOS.

Even Tizen, Fitbit OS, and Garmin OS can be considered vastly superior to the 2018-rebranded Wear OS platform in terms of things like health tracking capabilities, energy efficiency, and general UI fluidity, which seems to reflect in the smartwatch market's global vendor charts.

These are regularly dominated by companies that don't sell Wear OS devices, the number of which has also happened to steadily drop in the last few years. For what it's worth, Google has yet to give up on this thriving industry, working hard to close its key Fitbit acquisition while signing new hardware partnerships with the likes of Oppo, Xiaomi, and Suunto, and perhaps most importantly, trying its best to make Wear OS better.

Last updated with a major new functionality more than a year ago, the struggling operating system is set to receive its next big collection of over-the-air tweaks and enhancements sometime "in the fall." This time around, Google is planning to focus on "the fundamentals", which is exactly what Wear OS currently gets so wrong in comparison to its top competitors.

The overall performance and power of Wear OS devices should be drastically improved with this next software update, although there's obviously only so much that can be done about smartwatches packing 512MB RAM, for instance. Still, a 20 percent speed increase in "startup time for your apps" is nothing to sneeze at, which Google aims to pull off by applying various "CPU core improvements."


The rest of the advertised upgrades are a little more generic and vague, including a simplified pairing process meant to "make onboarding easier", more intuitive controls for "managing different watch modes and workouts", and faster access to your "important, timely information."

Separately, Google also plans to enable a "beautiful new weather experience" (pictured above) for Wear OS "later this year", providing an hourly breakdown of your day ahead to keep you regularly informed at a quick glance. That obviously doesn't sound like an industry game changer, but it's just one of several small steps in the right Apple Watch-challenging direction.

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